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Things to Do in Big Sur

Just beyond Post Ranch lies a wealth of attractions and activities sure to delight outdoor enthusiasts of all levels. For those who want to explore the beauty of Big Sur, here are a few of our favorites.
If you have any questions, please contact us.

Big Sur Area Guide


Attractions


HENRY MILLER LIBRARY | 1.1 miles south
The Henry Miller Library houses some of the most notable writers’ works in Big Sur. The library is open daily to the public and often hosts intimate outdoor concerts and small events.

POINT SUR LIGHTHOUSE | 10 miles north
Point Sur Lighthouse and its supporting light station buildings, now a California State Historic Park, stand atop a dramatic volcanic rock just off shore in Big Sur.

ESALEN INSTITUTE | 12 miles south
Established in 1960, the Esalen Institute is a school for self-improvement in a variety of areas. Built atop hot springs that seep out of the cliffs above the ocean, Esalen has long been a home to those seeking enlightenment. Guests can enjoy a day pass to Esalen that includes access to the hot springs, the grounds and lunch. (Fee)

BIXBY BRIDGE | 15 miles north
The iconic bridge stands tall as one of the world’s highest single-span concrete arch bridges. Over 700 feet long and over 260 feet tall, it may well be the most photographed piece of the coastal route.

CARMEL | 30 miles north
Visitors can enjoy the charm of downtown Carmel‘s charm and the natural beauty of California’s central coast while engaging in a variety of outdoor activities, dining and shopping.

MONTEREY | 33 miles north
Fisherman’s Wharf / Cannery Row
Known as the “Whale Watching Capital of the World,” Old Fisherman’s Wharf and Cannery Row provide a wide array of fabulous award-winning dining, shopping, live theater, special events, whale watching, marine life, fishing and sailing.

Monterey Bay Aquarium
Voted the nation’s #1 aquarium, Monterey Bay Aquarium offers a range of activities for all ages to enjoy. Home to the world’s largest jellyfish exhibit, the interactive Splash Zone, the amazing Kelp Forest and the 1,000,000 gallon Outer Bay, there is something for everyone.

17 MILE DRIVE | 35 miles north
The 17 Mile Drive is widely recognized as one of the most scenic drives in the world, this famous coastal landmark runs from Pacific Grove to Pebble Beach. Marvel at some of nature’s treasures including The Lone Cypress, Spanish Bay and Stillwater Cove. (Fee)

HEARST CASTLE | 64 miles south
Hearst Castle is a National Historic Landmark mansion located in San Simeon and was the home of newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst. It has been maintained as a state historic and is open for public tours.

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Galleries

HAWTHORNE GALLERY | 1 mile south
The Hawthorne Gallery represents the artwork of the multi-talented Hawthorne family as well as the work of selected outstanding artists across the country. Most of the art in our guest rooms, and many sculptures around the ranch are from the Hawthorne Gallery.

COAST GALLERY | 4 miles south
The Coast Gallery in Big Sur has become the largest known gallery of American Crafts in the U.S. It features over 3,000 fine art and craft works by 250 artists and artisans. Some sculptures at Post Ranch come from the Coast Gallery.

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Parks and Outdoors

PFEIFFER BEACH | 1 mile north
(turn left on Sycamore Canyon Rd, drive 2 miles)
Pfeiffer Beach is a popular destination among locals and tourists. It offers a beautiful beach for walking and stunning sunsets.

PFEIFFER BIG SUR STATE PARK | 2 miles north
Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park features redwoods, conifers, oaks, sycamores, cottonwoods, maples, alders and willows – plus open meadows. Hikers can enjoy the many scenic trails, including a self-guided nature trail.

ANDREW MOLERA STATE PARK | 7 miles north
The Andrew Molera State Park is located at the mouth of the Big Sur River. This state park affords stunning coastal views and, with miles of trails, offers hikes for all ability levels.

VENTANA WILDLIFE SOCIETY | 7 miles north
Ventana Wildlife Society Research and Education Center was established in Big Sur’s Andrew Molera State Park in 1992. They often offer guided condor tours and birding adventures.

PARTINGTON COVE TRAIL | 7 miles south
Partington Cove is a popular hiking destination taking you through a notable 60-foot tunnel to the secluded cove.

JULIA PFEIFFER BURNS STATE PARK | 9 miles south
The Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park features redwoods, tan oaks, madrones, chaparral, and an 80-foot waterfall that drops from granite cliffs into the ocean from the Overlook Trail.

GARRAPATA STATE PARK | 19 miles north
The park has two miles of beach front, with coastal hiking and a 50-foot climb to a beautiful view of the Pacific. Sea lions, harbor seals and sea otters frequent the coastal waters and California gray whales pass close by during their yearly migration.

SAND DOLLAR BEACH TRAIL | 31 miles
Sand Dollar Beach area is a nice crescent beach perfect for a stroll in the sand or an easy hike. There are a limited number of sand beaches in Big Sur and this one a great area for a picnic.

JADE COVE | 32 miles
Jade Cove provides outstanding opportunities for rock-hounding, searching for the coveted Big Sur jade and diving for jade. The beach is a designated hang-glider site.


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Local Hikes

POINT LOBOS STATE RESERVE
Teeming with flora and fauna, from both sea and land, Point Lobos is an ideal location for sightseeing. The reserve has hiking trails and is a renowned spot for diving, SCUBA and free. Enjoy this slideshow of Point Lobos or view aerial photos.

GARRAPATA STATE BEACH
The park has two miles of beach front, with coastal hiking and a 50-foot climb to a beautiful view of the Pacific. Sea lions, harbor seals and sea otters frequent the coastal waters and California gray whales pass close by during their yearly migration.

POINT SUR LIGHTHOUSE
Point Sur Lighthouse and its supporting light station buildings, now a California State Historic Park, stand atop a dramatic volcanic rock just off shore in Big Sur.

ANDREW MOLERA STATE PARK
This state park, located at the mouth of the Big Sur River, affords stunning coastal views and, with miles of trails, offers hikes for all ability levels.

Creamery Meadow to Molera Beach is a two-mile round trip, easy.

Molera 8-mile loop is a moderate to strenuous hike with a combination of the Ridge Trail, the Panorama Trail and the Bluffs Trail, with great coastal views and beach access.

Ventana Wildlife Society has their field office and bird-banding lab located at Andrew Molera State Park because of the abundant bird population along the Big Sur River. They often offer guided condor tours and birding adventures.

PFEIFFER BIG SUR STATE PARK
The Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park is a great place for hiking.

Valley View Trail is a two-mile round trip from the trailhead or one-half mile from Pfeiffer Falls. This trail takes you from redwoods to oak groves, finally opening up to a view of the Big Sur valley to Point Sur.

Buzzard’s Roost trail is a five-mile round trip from the entrance to Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park. A moderate two-hour hike along the Park’s western edge, taking you by the river, through shady redwoods, and through a series of switchbacks among bay trees and tan oaks to the chaparral-covered top of Pfeiffer Ridge.

PFEIFFER BEACH
Pfeiffer Beach is a popular destination among locals and tourists. It offers a beautiful beach for walking and stunning sunsets.

PARTINGTON COVE TRAIL
Partington Cove is a popular hiking destination.

JULIA PFEIFFER BURNS STATE PARK
The Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park features redwoods, tan oaks, madrones, chaparral, and an 80-foot waterfall that drops from granite cliffs into the ocean from the Overlook Trail. A panoramic view of the ocean and miles of rugged coastline is available from the higher elevations along the trails east of Highway 1.

SAND DOLLAR BEACH TRAIL
Sand Dollar Beach area is a nice crescent beach perfect for a stroll in the sand or an easy hike. There are a limited number of sand beaches in Big Sur and this one a great area for a picnic.

JADE COVE
Jade Cove provides outstanding opportunities for rock-hounding, searching for the coveted Big Sur jade and diving for jade. The beach is a designated hang-glider site.

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